On 1 January 2016, Leonardo-Finmeccanica became a single industrial company by integrating the activities of its subsidiaries AgustaWestland, Alenia Aermacchi, DRS Technologies, Selex ES, Oto Melara and WASS. The company is organised into seven divisions (Helicopters, Aircraft, Aerostructures, Airborne & Space Systems, Land & Naval Defence Electronics, Defence Systems, Security & Information Systems) and is also the parent company and corporate centre for the subsidiaries and joint ventures, Telespazio, Thales Alenia Space, MBDA and ATR. Leonardo is listed on the Borsa Italiana and is a constituent of the FTSE MIB and Dow Jones Sustainability Indices.
As of April 2016[update], the company was known by the transitional name of Leonardo-Finmeccanica as part of the restructuring process of the company carried out by CEO Mauro Moretti from the beginning of his mandate in 2014. The company changed its name to Leonardo S.p.A. on 1 January 2017, after the Italian inventor Leonardo da Vinci.
The company was established in 1948 as the mechanical engineering subholding of the state-owned IRI. Finmeccanica has held for years such historic Italian enterprises, as Alfa Romeo (automobiles), Aeritalia (aerospace) and Ansaldo (engineering). From the 1960s to the 1980s Italy's defence and aerospace industry was split into state-holding entities: EFIM owned the helicopters manufacturer Agusta, the defence company Oto Melara and the electronic enterprise Officine Galileo, whereas STET (another IRI subsidiary) held Selenia, Elsag and SGS Thomson, all electronic enterprises with specializations in security and defense. In 1989 an internal IRI reorganization process brought STET electronic enterprises to Finmeccanica, and the Aeritalia-Selenia merger constituted its aerospace subsidiary Alenia.
In 1992 EFIM was wound up because of its troubled financial situation; and Agusta, Oto Melara, Officine Galileo and Breda passed to Finmeccanica, which became one of the most important Italian industrial groups. Finmeccanica, which was previously fully state owned by IRI, became partly privatized in 1993, when it was listed in the Milan Borsa Italiana stock exchange.
In July 2000 Finmeccanica and the British GKN agreed to merge their respective helicopter subsidiaries (Agusta and GKN-Westland Helicopters) to form AgustaWestland. In December 2001 the missile business of Alenia Marconi Systems (AMS), a joint Finmeccanica/BAE Systems company, was merged with other European missile manufacturers to form MBDA which thus became the world's second largest missile manufacturer. In July 2003 Finmeccanica and BAE Systems announced their intention to set up three joint venture companies, to be collectively known as Eurosystems. These companies would have pooled the avionics, C4ISTAR and communications businesses of the two companies. In March 2007 BAE Systems sold its 25% share to Finmeccanica for €400 million. In January 2013 the company merged with Finmeccanica's other defence electronics companies, SELEX Elsag and SELEX Sistemi Integrati, to become Selex ES. In May 2008 Finmeccanica announced its intention to purchase the U.S. defense contractor DRS Technologies for nearly $5.2 billion. On 22 October 2008 the sale of DRS Technologies was finalized.
During 2011–2013, Finmeccanica emails were published by WikiLeaks and Finmeccanica was subject to judicial inquiries on several fronts and management changes.